Sikkim gives Rs 10,000 each as relief funds to over 8,000 labourers

Gangtok: The Sikkim government will give Rs 10,000 each to labourers registered under the E-building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Welfare Board on Sunday.

Over 8,733 labourers received the relief fund after they were affected by the South Lhonak Lake Glacial Lake Outburst Flood across the Teesta Basin in the state.

CM Golay handed cheques at the awareness and distribution of distress relief assistance event in Chintan Bhawan in Gangtok. The labourers work under various government departments such as building and housing, roads and bridges, and irrigation under the supervision of the state labour department.

The collective relief fund given by the State government amounts to over Rs. 8.70 Crores, informed the Chief Minister in his address. He stated, “Many people lost their lives in the GLOF, these are troubled times as our labourers are in distress, for losing their lives by the banks of the river. Most of the labourers are currently assisting in the relief work in the state. Hence, to acknowledge their contribution and provide relief, we raised the relief fund from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 10,000. The law states we must give Rs. 5000, but we feel the amount is too little, hence, we have increased the relief funds”.

Sikkim Chief Minister compared the relief efforts and funds given during the 2011 earthquake by the previous Sikkim Democratic Front government. Golay stated, “The opposition has now been demanding the government to give Rs 50 lakh as ex gratia to those who lost their lives. We are ready to give the amount. But if you compare it with the 2011 earthquake, did the then government give that much amount? If it was then a violation, those who lost their lives could have been given Rs 30 lakh, but they didn’t. They declare that we should construct 5-storey homes for those who lost their properties. But when you draw comparisons with their relief effort, the houses granted under the rural housing scheme, then we’re in dismal condition. We ensure that we won’t give such dismal reconstruction of homes.”

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Golay asserted that the funds given today are only for labourers registered under the building and other construction workers’ welfare boards. However, he acknowledged labourers not registered under the board. They too, would receive relief funds, he added.  

Furthermore, the State Education Department will ensure books for students who lost their belongings in the GLOF. 

Also Read | Lhonak Lake threat still large, no early warning system in place: Sikkim govt

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